Helmeted Guineafowl Alice Keck park and Bird Refuge
On Sunday 1/20 a walk around Lake Los Carneros was encouraging to see so much water. A White-tailed Kite perched obligingly. Tuesday the 22nd I was entertained by the 4 noisy Helmeted Guineafowl, native to Africa, in Alice Keck Park. I saw them in several different locations including the sidewalk at corner of Garden and Micheltorena. They are very tame birds that have probably been someone's pets. They attracted a lot of attention. By this morning they were gone.
This morning Mission Creek outflow had at least 135 Black Skimmers and a few Royal Terns with usual gulls and Chase Palm Park a nice assortment of gulls including several Heermann's among the Western. I then walked to the 2nd viewing platform at the Bird Refuge. Both viewing platforms were totally submerged in water and at the parking lot the water level was almost up to the sign. I found 3 Black-necked Stilts, 2 Spotted Sandpipers, an Eared Grebe, a couple of Black Phoebes and Yellow-rumped Warblers and of course loads of Coots and Shovelers.
I've posted some photos at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/digolov/
I spent the 21st in our neighboring SLO county at the lovely Laguna Lake Park where I had good opportunities to observe the now long resident Vermilion Flycatcher.
Dika Golovatchoff, Santa Barbara